The University of Newcastle, Australia

Ashish Malik

The work of Associate Professor Ashish Malik allows the global business community to better understand – and retain – a young and mobile workforce.

Image of Ashish Malik

Ashish's academic qualifications, training and professional experience lie in the field of Human Resources Management (HRM) and Industrial Relations. His novel approach to solving people management problems delivers high-quality, peer-reviewed research, which has both academic and practical impacts.

Although his methods and processes can be applied to any number of international human resource management processes, the bulk of Ashish's research is focused on knowledge-intensive services industries in India and Australia.

“I am particularly interested in looking at the impact of leadership and management practices, including HRM practices, in creating a social and relational context for achieving high performance and innovation for the business, as well as looking at the enablers and barriers for the same, at an individual – employee level,” Ashish explains.

“What leaders, managers and employees should do individually and collectively to achieve these goals is the current focus of my research.”

Shifting paradigms

The general orientation of Ashish’s research is international in scope. Recognition of his ability and research trajectory is manifested in his ongoing partnerships with several internationally renowned scholars with high citation scores, impactful outputs and big reputations.

A significant number of his research outputs and collaborations are international co-authorships with colleagues from Abu Dhabi, Belgium, China, Dubai, Germany, France, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, , New Zealand and United Kingdom working on managing people in knowledge-intensive firms with a major focus on the ‘offshore outsourcing’ paradigm shifts.

Ashish has been deeply involved in the recognition of a new category of expatriates - “Yopatriates” – defined in his collaborative work as young, highly qualified and mobile, Generation Y (Gen Y) knowledge workers.

In contrast to traditional expatriates, Yopatriates typify non-traditional forms of expatriation wherein they seek short-term international assignments to suit their individual (internal, rather than organisational or external) career orientations of learning and travel.

“Better understanding of Generation Y expatriates or Yopatriates allows firms to better manage, retain and engage with these employee groups,” Ashish explains.

Another area of focus is closer to home.

Collaborating with colleagues at the Ourimbah Campus, Ashish and his colleagues were successful in securing a large NSW State Government grant on the topic of Smart Work Hubs (SWH) in NSW. The findings of the subsequent report highlight a huge positive impact on the regional NSW working population who access these hubs, echoed by increased flexibility, work-life balance and economic contributions to regional economies.

Balancing perspectives

By employing a multidisciplinary lens when examining obstacles within the field of human resource management and employment relations, Ashish explores novel explanations for long existing problems. This innovative approach to understanding international and strategic HRM has led to impactful research in the areas of work, organisational, product, process and business model innovations.

His multidisciplinary focus has helped Ashish create impact and sustained leadership within the field of HRM in three key thematic areas: International Human Resource Management (IHRM), strategy and innovation.

A master of team work, Ashish describes the renewed examination of existing problems using the simultaneous focus of several disciplines as ‘liberating’. He warns however that widening the aperture can be as much as a trap as only viewing a problem from the same old perspective.

“Sometimes, people also get trapped in disciplinary silos or conversely suffer from excessive multidisciplinary lenses- getting the right balance is a real skill”.

Fluent in both English and Hindi, Ashish studied in New Zealand and India. Since joining the University of Newcastle, Ashish has supervised/co-supervised several Honours, Masters, DBA and PhD students and won several teaching and learning awards at a Faculty, University and International level. He has authored/edited and co-authored/co-edited seven books.

“In the IT industry, high-end innovation relies on human capital development,” Ashish explains.

“These books explore the impact of strategic human resource management in managing people in knowledge intensive industries. This stream of research has examined a range of meso and micro-level outcomes through SHRM practices, such as business model innovation, organisational growth and managing slowdown as well as employee outcomes of innovation, well-being, resilience and job satisfaction for long-term advantages for organisations and its employees”.

Attracting investment

As successful Chief- or co-investigator in a number of domestic and international research grants, Ashish has attracted funding valued at more than $300, 000. Most recently, he has been a successful recipient of the Faculty’s Strategic International Collaboration Grant with colleagues in Newcastle Business School and Aston Business School, Aston University in the UK.

Ashish has also teamed up with A/Professor Nanadakumar from the Indian Institute of Management (IIMK) to win a significant competitive grant to look at Business Model Innovation in Social Enterprises – A Comparative Study of India and Australia.

This ongoing local and international investment is especially notable considering the general scarcity of funding for research in the area of Business and Management.

Ashish cites his insatiable quest for new knowledge and learning as his personal and professional motivation.

“I will continue to learn about the dynamic and volatile changes occurring in my field to further inform my teaching and research agendas, with the aim of achieving excellence in my disciplinary domain,” he says.